Sangster airport still faces difficulties
Published: Sunday | November 15, 2009
Up to press time yesterday, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security was attempting to have normality restored at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, Minister of Labour Pearnel Charles told The Sunday Gleaner.
The minister's comments came hours after his team remained locked in an emergency meeting with MBJ Airports Limited, operators of the airport, and the two unions, the Trade Union Congress and the Union of Technical, Administrative and Supervisory Personnel representing the 160 staff members who walked off the job on Friday.
"We are recommending that another meeting be held next Wednesday at the ministry offices in Kingston," Minister Charles revealed, adding that the union was insisting on the presence of the consultants, Focal Point.
"I hoping that then they will be able to iron out their differences," he said.
In the meantime, a statement for MBJ Airports Limited stated that the international facility remained open and operational all of yesterday.
flights not affected
Sources at the airport said no flights were affected during the second day of the industrial dispute and with the assistance of the security forces, the airport was moved back up to a category nine.
"Sangster International Airport is the primary gateway to Jamaica and is an integral part of the tourist industry. MBJ Airports Limited appreciates the support of the relevant authorities to assist us in maintaining the airport fully operational. MBJ continues to extend an invitation to employees to return to work and to the unions to continue discussions with management," said a release from Chief Commercial Officer Elizabeth Scotton.
The workers had stopped working for what the unions described as management's blatant disregard and contentious treat-ment of matters relating to staff.